Alphabetical Index of Yen Press Manga Reviews

Emma Volume 2

The Yen Press rescue of Kaoru Mori’s Emma series continues here. Emma volume 2 reprints the paperback volumes 3 and 4 in a larger-size hardcover with a reversible dust jacket. This part of the story splits up the maid Emma and the well-off William. After the death of her mistress, Emma is returning to her hometown, but a chance meeting with another maid leads her to a new position at a very different kind of establishment, a bigger house with […]

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Secret Volume 2

Secret volume 2 continues to be an improvement over Yoshiki Tonogai’s previous series, with more emphasis on character profiles and less on gratuitous murders. The deaths happened in the past, so now people are analyzing them — although there is the occasional attempted homicide, just to ramp up the suspense. We open with a profile of an accidental survivor. He stayed home sick from class on the day of the deadly bus trip, but he’s still severely affected by the […]

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Love at Fourteen Volumes 1-2

Love at Fourteen is a poetic, quiet series about first love by Fuka Mizutani. Kanata (she) and Kazuki (he) are mature for their 14 years, taller than the others but set apart by the other kids looking up to them. They feel constrained by others’ expectations, and they don’t feel as old as others treat them. So they bond together, in similar circumstances, and begin falling in love. It’s the moments that make this manga so involving. Whether or not […]

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So, I Can’t Play H Volume 1

So, I Can’t Play H is a manga that feels familiar from the start. It began as a series of light novels (11 in all) written by Pan Tachibana and illustrated by Yoshiaki Katsurai that then were adapted into five manga volumes, drawn by Sho Okagiri, before becoming an anime series. This volume opens with a bunch of confusing mythology about a realm of Grim Reapers and their training and contracts and rules, but it’s really about a regular guy, […]

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Ani-Imo Volume 1

Ani-Imo by Haruko Kurumatani has one of those “only in manga” premises. Be sure to keep it away from parents or busybodies, because it plays with implications of incest as comedy. Youta is a caring boy. He fixes breakfast for his family, and he particularly takes care of his twin sister Hikaru (so much so that rumors swirl around their high school regarding his “sister complex” and how freaky the twins are). She’s quiet and reserved, but he finds her […]

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Emma Volume 1

I’m very glad Yen Press brought back Kaoru Mori’s maid manga Emma. The period piece combines a cross-class romance (gentleman and maid) with beautifully illustrated details of daily life, set during a time, 19th century England, that appeals to many readers, given the elaborate dinner parties and social rituals. When the series was originally released by CMX, I covered most of the volumes, so I won’t talk in detail about the plot, but I did want to note how lovely […]

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Secret Volume 1

In a departure from previous series Doubt and Judge by Yoshiki Tonogai, this book doesn’t have students locked in a booby-trapped warehouse and told to kill each other one by one. Instead, they’re in their classrooms, which makes the whole thing creepier, by keeping them in the setting of daily life. A small group of students have been in counseling because they were the only survivors of a bus crash that killed many of their classmates. On the last day […]

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Judge Volume 6

The series by Yoshiki Tonogai about kids forced to murder each other concludes in this volume, and that’s pretty much all you need to know, that here’s where the story ends. I wrote about the first couple volumes of Judge, but I quit talking about — and paying attention to — the intervening books, because it was just about spinning out the suspense, which wasn’t very effective. I’m trying to recall if the three twists in this volume were foreshadowed […]

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